WAR: I expect to wake up tomorrow morning and see headlines announcing that we've started our air campaign in Iraq. Baghdad is 11 hours ahead of Los Angeles, so by 7am here it will be dusk there, and just about time to launch our Tomahawks. It might all be over by the time I go to lunch (with Saddam killed in a coup, or in the initial bombardment). The first Gulf War was arguably the most successful military operation in history, and our rout of the Taliban in Afghanistan topped it. It never pays to be overly optimistic, but from my position as a spectator I feel safe in predicting that Gulf War II will go over even faster, and more safely.

There is one scenario I dread though, and that's the possibility that we don't cut off Saddam's communications to his forces quickly enough and he has time and opportunity to use checmical weapons against his own people. Our forces (and his) have fairily adequate defenses against the rudimentary chemical and biological weapons that are likely to be used, but the Iraqi civilians don't have any means of protection. It seems likely that Saddam will order attacks against the Kurds in the north, and it's also possible that he will order a suicidal chemical holocaust in Baghdad itself, once he's convinced that he's going down.

God bless the United States of America, and deliver the people of Iraq.



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